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The Community 
Resource Kit 

Guidance for people setting up and 
running community organisations 

Te Tari Taiwhenua 

Section 9 

Raising funds 


Section 1 

Getting started 

Section 2 


Section 3 

Organisational structures 

Section 4 


Section 5 


Section 6 


Section 7 

Financial management 

Section 8 


Section 9 

Raising funds 

Section 10: Employment 

Section 1 1 : Communications 

Section 12: Information technology 




Fundraising plan 

1 . First steps 

2. Once you've decided to raise funds 

3. Now you're ready to ask for the money 

Funding options 

Local fundraising activities 

Raising money through membership 

Donor-donee relationship 
Business sponsorships 
Professional fundraising consultants 

Online fundraising 

Advantages of having an online presence 
Starting out 
Fundraising ideas 


Applying for funds 

Funding application checklist 
Application contents checklist 
Funding timeline 
Public funding information 
Other things to remember 

Where to go for more information 

Online resources 
Other resources 


At some point, nearly every community organisation will need to raise money to be able to 
continue its work in the community or to carry out a special project. Raising funds, like most 
activities, is easier if you have a clear idea of what you need to do and how you'll do it. 

Step 1 : 

Gather information about your organisation 


Step 2: 

Gather information about the project or activity 

Step 3: 

Find out about funding sources and possible activities 

Step 4: 

Create a fundraising plan 


Step 5: 

Implement your fundraising plan - send out applications and complete 

fundraising activities 


Step 6: Account for funding received and evaluate 
how your plan worked 

Fundraising plan 

The most important step in successful fundraising is planning. Take time to draw up a 
fundraising plan and think through strategies that will achieve your goals. Break down tasks 
into manageable pieces and set a timeline for their completion. 

1 . First steps 

Identify the purpose of obtaining funds. 

Check whether fundraising is really necessary. What's available now? Are there other ways 

of achieving what you want, such as using another group's equipment. Could you use a 

donation of a service or an item instead of money? 

Who will gain from the fundraising? Will your target group benefit? 

Community Resource Kit Section 9: Raising funds 1 

2. Once you've decided to raise funds 

Establish a fundraising committee to provide you with support in the planning process. 

You might also want to appoint a fundraising coordinator to take overall responsibility for 

fundraising activities. 

Describe the exact purpose for raising funds - it's much easier to raise funds for a particular 

project than for the everyday operating costs of the organisation. Make sure everyone 

knows the purpose of the fundraising and the target. 

Set a budget - work out how much it will cost you to raise the funds e.g. running expenses 

such as salaries for professional help, rent, phone, power, printing, cleaning, stationery, 

transport, auditing, equipment, etc. 

Set goals - work out how much money you need to raise and by when. Make sure the 

goals are meaningful and varied - raising funds for the same thing year after year can be 


Build a fundraising pyramid (see diagram) - this is a good formula for working out the types 

of donations (small, medium or major). People and funders give at varying levels, depending 

on their capacity, motivation and, most importantly, on how much they're asked for. In most 

successful campaigns, one third to half of income comes from large gifts and legacies, 

another third comes from medium-sized gifts, and the final third comes from smaller gifts. 

The trick to meeting your fundraising target is to decide what amount constitutes major, 

medium and small gifts, and how many gifts you need at each level of the pyramid. 

Fundraising pyramid 



(e.g. Money 

lonated when a 

person dies) 

(e.g. Over $1000! 

(e.g. $2/month or annual membership 


(e.g. $5 for greeting cards or other merchandise 

from time to time or irregular donations) 


(e.g. One-off donation following an event 

or an appeal by direct mail) 

Tip: If you ask for $10, that's what you'll get, even from a millionaire. So be bold and ask 
for a reasonable amount - though not too high or you might put people off altogether! 
Remember to work the bottom of the pyramid by building a relationship with your one- 
off donors to encourage them to become regular donors. The top of the pyramid is also 
important because every large gift you get, means fewer small gifts you need to ask for. 

Community Resource Kit 

Section 9: Raising funds 2 

List the other (non-monetary) resources needed - check these against the resources already 

available: people, equipment, transport, facilities, etc. 

Build a fundraising team. Create a network of people who will join you in raising funds to 

maintain the energy and replace any who leave. Involve people who enjoy this type of work 

— those who don't can work in another part of the organisation. 

Decide who will need to be consulted before any decisions about the fundraising ventures 

are made - this will include your board. 

Evaluate and choose your funding options. Your group stands a better chance of long-term 

survival if you have as many sources of funding as you can manage, rather than just relying 

on one or two (see 'Funding options' below). 

Know how to account for any funding you might receive - this includes tax implications, 

keeping accurate records for your own organisation and for the funding organisation and/or 

donor (see Section 7 - Financial management). 

Develop your strategies, including a timeline, to put your final plan into action. Make sure 

these strategies fit into your overall income plan. 

3. Now you're ready to ask for the money 

Tip: Attend funding courses, expos and fairs, and collect information on funding. This will 
help you build a resource for future reference. 

Funding options 

Funding can come and go, so it's important not to rely on a limited number of sources. Aim 
to draw your funding from as many sources as possible. 

Local fundraising activities 

Food and entertainment e.g. balls, socials or shows, wine and cheese parties, fancy dress 
or hat parties, picnics. 

Sales e.g. t-shirts, bumper stickers, fridge-magnets, ballpoints, tea towels (these can also 
promote your organisation), puppets, art works, auctions, garage sales, cake stalls, sausage 
sizzles (many supermarkets encourage them and even provide a barbecue), market days, 
calendars, cookbooks, published histories of the organisation. 

Money for labour e.g. working bees, gardening, painting, labouring, section-clearing, home 

Sponsored activities e.g. swims, walks, triathlons, games. 
• Exhibitions or demonstrations e.g. a celebrity match, pottery demonstration and 'have a go'. 
Community services e.g. rubbish collections, bottle drives (where there isn't a regular 
recycling service), information pamphlets, community directories. 
Competitions e.g. sports days, 'top town' team events, quizzes, beach games, treasure 

Tip: For more local fundraising ideas, visit: 

Community Resource Kit 

Section 9: Raising funds 3 

Raising money through membership. 

Membership fees - have a range of fees that vary for members who are unemployed to 

corporate organisations. 

Patrons - patrons can be selected for the status they bring to the organisation or in 

acknowledgement of their financial support (in this case, consider setting a patron 


'Friends of the organisation' membership - 'friends' are usually people interested in the 

organisation but not directly involved with it. In return for your friends' subscription or 

donation, you might offer newsletters, cheaper entrance fees, preferential bookings, etc. 

Business membership - this is similar to 'friends' but is directed at commercial 


Major sponsors - similar to business sponsors but with a greater contribution. (Refer to the 

'Business sponsorships' section.) 

Local authority or government agency membership - where this is appropriate you could 

charge a higher membership fee. 


Donations are made by individuals, private trusts and foundations, and sometimes by 
corporations. They might be in the form of cash, income (e.g. from interest or rent) and in 
kind (e.g. free services or donated goods). Donations do not attract GST. 

Seek out donations and make it easy for people to donate to your organisation. It's not just 
the large charities that people want to donate to. You might consider: 

adding a 'Donate' button to the homepage of your website so individuals can make a one- 
off donation or sign up for regular donations 
having donation boxes around your local area 
organising a street appeal or setting up a collection at a local event 
applying for Inland Revenue approval as a donee organisation in order to participate 
in payroll giving (for more information on payroll giving refer to Section 7 - Financial 
management or visit: . 

Tip: For more ideas on donation options, visit: nz/index.php?page= 
exultnetwork&viewarticle=46 . 

Donor-donee relationship 

Your organisation chooses how to use donated money, though donors can be involved to 
varying degrees. If a donor wants to be involved in the management of their donation, make 
sure the expectations of both parties are very clear from the start. Keep an open relationship 
so that any concerns can be raised by either party. 

Tip: Make sure you thank your donors and give them feedback on how the donation has 
helped your group. A happy donor is much more likely to donate again! 

Community Resource Kit 

Section 9: Raising funds 4 

Business sponsorships 

Sponsorship is a two-way agreement in which a company offers cash, product or service 
for an association with your organisation. You may seek sponsorship for help with your 
group's overall mission or for a single project, event or activity. While money is the most 
obvious benefit of sponsorship, voluntary groups can also gain a lot from gifts in kind such 
as printing, transport and equipment, space for offices, payment for publicity, payroll giving, 
and volunteer work by companies that have employee volunteering programmes. 

Clearly state the potential benefits from an association with your group, such as company 
or brand exposure, the potential for increased sales and/or logo placement. Recent 
research - - has shown that New Zealanders think 
more highly of companies that support charities and are more likely to buy their products. 
Highlight this as an opportunity for the potential sponsor. Once a sponsor is on board, it's 
essential that you follow through and deliver what you promise. 

Sponsorship strategy 

A sponsorship strategy involves: 

identifying activities suitable for sponsorship 

• writing a clear summary of, and budget for, the proposed activity 
identifying potential benefits for the sponsors 

establishing the value to the sponsor 

identifying potential sponsors and selecting who you will approach 
writing the sponsorship proposal 
« approaching the sponsor, and 
follow-up with the sponsor. 

Ways of recognising sponsors 

You could put the sponsor's name on: 


all stationery, which can be done cheaply with a self-inking stamp 

your website and/or social media pages 

all promotional material such as entry or registration forms, posters, tickets 

notice boards at clubrooms 

• cups, medals and ribbons 

a display by the sponsor in the clubrooms, and 
the club banner. 

You could also: 

advertise the sponsor's wares or activity in programmes and newsletters 

promote and foster the sponsor's name and products at, or during, an event, in your annual 

report, or at the AGM 

• have the organisation or its members become involved in promotional activities for the 

have the sponsor's employees volunteer for your organisation 
« give the sponsor the opportunity to market products at the event venue or to the 

Community Resource Kit Section 9: Raising funds 5 

distribute the sponsor's advertising material at your office, clubrooms, or to participants 
have the sponsor's advertising on your website or at an event venue, and 
allow the sponsor to use photos of events for their own promotions. 

Professional fundraising consultants 

Consultants advise, plan and organise events and activities with the support of, and from, 
the organisation. It pays to ask around other similar organisations that have used them 
and get a referral. The Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) can help with advice on 
consultants specialising in particular areas. You may want to become a member and receive 
their bi-monthly magazine FINZ on Fundraising, or join one of the FINZ regional networks. 
Visit: for details. 

Tip: For tips on hiring a fundraising consultant, visit: 

Online fundraising 

People spend an increasing amount of time on the Internet and your organisation should 
have an online presence. 

Advantages of having an online presence 

Spreads news and requests support, e.g. in the case of a natural disaster, an appeal can be 

active in minutes. 

The Internet complements traditional fundraising methods and it saves money on postage or 


Keeps people regularly informed of your progress, in fundraising or the organisation's 

activities through a website, Facebook page or blog. 

Online communication helps strengthen relationships with donors and stakeholders, and 

enables you to tailor fundraising campaigns to your supporters' preferences. 

Your organisation's mission, message and activities are seen by more people who visit your 

website or social media pages, and by people wanting to share information. This can lead to 

new donors, volunteers and advocates. 

Your digital presence promotes a sense of an active and innovative organisation, giving 

funders and donors confidence. 

Adapted from 0/ 
online-is-the-way-forward-for-fundraising/ . 


Fundraising Basics, Ciconte & Jacob. 

Tip: For more information on using the Internet, see Chapter 12 - Information technology. 

Community Resource Kit 

Section 9: Raising funds 6 

Starting out 

Coordinate your online fundraising with your organisation's strategic plan and your 
fundraising strategy. Have a clear and realistic idea of what you want to achieve and how 
your online presence will enhance that. Simply putting a 'donate now' button on your 
website or starting a social media page isn't enough for effective fundraising. 

Online fundraising strategy should: 

make people aware of the organisation 
; get people to care about the organisation 
encourage people to support the organisation, and 
keep people connected to the organisation. 

Fundraising ideas 

Find out about the tools available for connecting with your donors online, from email, blogs 
and websites to Wiki pages, Facebook and Twitter. Every online tool can be used, from 
online donations to online charity auctions and marketing of fundraising events. A website, 
blog or social media page needs to be updated regularly. 

It is not too difficult or expensive to fundraise online. There are currently websites, such 
as, and helping connect charities 
with donations of money, time/skills (volunteer work) and items. Other companies, such as and Issues., enable community groups to set up their own page 
to raise funds on the Internet, for a small service fee. 

Organisations such as the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand, yMedia, Exult Ltd and 
Foresee Communications offer assistance and training courses on Online Fundraising. 

Tip: For more information on online fundraising visit: 




Community Resource Kit 

Section 9: Raising funds 7 

Applying for funds 

A well presented application stands the best chance of success when you are applying for 
public funding, a trust grant or making a sponsorship proposal. 

Funding application checklist 

Obtain information about likely funding sources - this can be done easily online through 

websites and tools such as FundView ( nz/index.php?page=FundView) 

or SPARC'S Directory of Potential Funding Sources ( 


Approach each source (by phone, letter, email or directly through the funder's website) and 

ask for: 

• funding criteria - apply for funding only if you meet the criteria 

• background information about the source 

• a list of previous grants (if available) 

• copies of application forms. 

■ Know the closing date for applications and get your application in well before. 
Allow plenty of time to prepare your application. 

Draft your application (see Application contents checklist'). Complete all the relevant 
sections of the application form. Attach all the documents requested. 
Discuss the application with the appropriate people in your organisation e.g. your board and 
communication or strategy advisers. 

Finalise, type and check the application for spelling, clarity, brevity and attractiveness. 
Invite the funder to visit the project or to request further information. 
Applications for funding are usually discoverable, and sponsors account for their donations 
in their annual reports. If you overstate your activities in an application, or you apply for 
funding when you do not meet the criteria, the community and the public will know. 
Mark any items you have excluded (or included as extras) in your funding application and 
footnote them. 

Include any appropriate notes on budget explanations and breakdowns. 
Include, if you have them, three- or five-year development plans. 
If you need help developing a proposal, ask the funder. 

• List other organisations to which you have applied and when you expect to hear from them. 
Funders don't mind your applying to more than one funder or for different grants, but make 
sure you let them know of any outcomes, especially if an application is turned down. 
Download the funder's application form. If one is not available, make your own - it will be 
photocopied. Keep a copy of the final copy of your application. 

• If you don't get an acknowledgement of your application after two or three weeks, ring the 
funding organisation and check that they have received it. 

Be aware that most schemes have far more applicants than funding, so if you are turned 

down, try again. It didn't necessarily mean they think your project is no good - they may 

have just had some particularly good competing projects. Choose another organisation, 

rewrite the application and keep trying. 

Develop a funding calendar for your organisation that highlights all those funding bodies you 

can apply to on an annual basis. 

Remember to publicly acknowledge your funders. 

Make sure you meet all the funders' requirements for using the funds, such as accountability 

reports, keeping receipts, etc. 

Community Resource Kit Section 9: Raising funds 8 

Application contents checklist 

A funding application typically requires the following information: 

Introduction - to your organisation, its staff and volunteers, services provided, community 

served, numbers. 

Legal form - are you an incorporated society or charitable trust? Do you have an umbrella 

organisation willing to receive money on your behalf? Are you registered for GST? 

The problem - outline the problem your project seeks to address. Enclose any needs 

analysis, evidence or statistics. 

Outline of the project itself. 

Objectives - these should be specific, achievable and able to be evaluated. 

Procedure - who will implement the project, how and with what? 

Evaluation - explain how you intend to measure whether the project was worthwhile. 

Budget - list all items of anticipated income and expenditure, including staff salaries and 

administration costs. Note any other sources of funding that you have approached for this 

project, and when you expect a response. State how much the organisation is providing. 

Attach professional quotes. 

Request - ask for a specific amount of money that is realistic in terms of the project budget 

and of the size of the grant usually made by the funding body. In many cases it will be less 

than the total expenses identified in the budget. 

Contacts - list address and phone numbers of two people who can provide the funder with 

any further information or clarification. 

Referees - list two or more referees from outside your own organisation who understand 

the project and support it. 

Other information - attach letters of support and other materials that support your case 

such as media releases, brochures, annual reports, annual accounts, etc. However, 

be careful not to bombard the funder with lots of additional material. Only include the 

information and attachments requested by the funder or that are essential to supporting 

your application. 

Tip: Commonly, funders make all or part of the application process available online. But 
be aware there are still a number, especially of smaller funders, which provide only paper 
application forms and accept only paper applications. 

Funding timeline 

A useful tool to have when you're applying for funds is a funding timeline that documents 
the critical steps involved in getting a funding application completed on time. Work 
backwards from the closing dates to set deadlines for the major tasks associated with 
making an application and tick off each task as it is completed. 

Public funding information 

Public funding programmes and closing dates change from time to time, so keep an eye on 
what's available and what are the application closing dates. The Internet is a great source of 
accurate funding information. 

Research via Google, or visit online directories such as the Funding Information Service's 
FundView or the Cultural Funding Guide ( The 
Department of Internal Affairs' Grants Online website ( ) has 

Community Resource Kit 

Section 9: Raising funds 9 

information on applying for Lottery Grants Board or Community Organisation Grants 
Scheme (COGS) grants and on various community funding schemes. National funders 
include the New Zealand Community Trust, Freemasons New Zealand, Sargood Bequest, 
Pub Charity, Blue Skies Fund, etc, which can be found through their individual websites or 
through FundView. 

Check with your local council about funders in your area. You can find your local council's 
details through Local Government Online ( 

Other things to remember 

Fundraising is all about relationships and communication. It's beneficial to thank and 
recognise funders as not all of them fund only on a one-off basis - they may fund again. If an 
application is declined, find out why. 
• Government agencies, corporations, foundations and trusts may prefer to fund finite 
projects, ending when their aims have been achieved, rather than covering ongoing costs 
such as salaries and rents. A strategy for dealing with this is to build salary and overhead 
components into the cost of projects. 

There are usually special terms and conditions attached to project funding e.g. many 
organisations require you to have raised a proportion (commonly one-third) of the money 
you need for your project before you apply to them. 

Some funders will fund only those organisations that are in partnership with an umbrella 
group or who have their own legal form e.g. registered as an incorporated society or 
charitable trust. For more information about becoming a legal entity refer to Section 3 - 
Organisational structures. Other funders may put limits on the size of any grants they make 
to groups operating without a legal form e.g. they may fund up to $5000. Funders are also 
starting to specify that they will fund only those organisations registered with the Charities 

There are many courses on funding and fundraising for not-for-profit and community groups, 
offered by tertiary institutions such as Unitec, Manukau Institute of Technology, University of 
Auckland Business School and other organisations such as the Fundraising Institute New of 
Zealand, Fundraising Training Associates, Exult Ltd, and Foresee Communications. 

Where to go for more information 

Online resources 

1 . The Funding Information Service (FIS) - . A complete source 
of funding information for community organisations, FIS manages searchable funding 
information databases: 

• FundView - grants from trusts and foundations 

• BreakOut - grants for individuals 

• Corporate Citizens - a directory of corporate community involvement. 

See also the resources for groups who have been turned down for grants or have been 
unable to negotiate a government contract that covers all costs - 
index. php?page=Resources . 

2. The Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) - . The 
professional body for those employed in or involved with fundraising, sponsorship and 
events in the not-for-profit sector. 

Community Resource Kit Section 9: Raising funds 10 

3. CommunityNet Aotearoa's Funding How-to Guide - 
how-toguides/funding/ . Information, resources and advice about applying for grants, 
sponsorship and other types of funding. 

4. Cultural Funding Guide - . Searchable online 
funding directory developed by Creative New Zealand, National Services Te Paerangi (Te 
Papa) and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage with the Funding Information Service. 

5. Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) Directory of Potential Funding 
Sources - 
Start-search-from-beginning/ . Searchable online directory of potential sports and 
recreational funding sources. 

6. ComVoices Communications Toolkit - 
resources . The 'Understanding Sponsorship' section examines some of the basic 
rules for seeking and securing sponsorship, as well as some tools that can help you to 
improve your approach. 

7. Philanthropy New Zealand - . Though primarily for 
organisations that give money, it contains some useful information and publications for 
groups receiving that money. 

8. Foresee Communications - Products and Publications - 
fundraising-sponsorship-publications.php . A wealth of material on fundraising and 
sponsorship, including two monthly publications, regular e-newsletters, a sponsorship 
book and various resource kits. 

9. Community Connect's Funding - Where to start and what to know 

- php?page=Funding+- 
+Where+to+Start+and+What+to+Know . Advice and practical tips on fundraising and 
applying for funding. 

10. Exult Ltd - . Organisation that specialises in guides, resources 
and training to help groups with their financial sustainability. 

1 1 . FundraiseOnline - . Free online donation service that 
enables groups to build their own personal fundraising webpage, complete with secure 
credit card donation processing facilities. 

12. Fundraising Directory of New Zealand - 
Directory of fundraising products and service suppliers to help with sourcing and 
conducting fundraising. 

13. Fundraising Ideas NZ - . A to Z of do-it- 
yourself fundraising ideas. 

14. Our Community - Community Funding Centre (AUS) - http://www.ourcommunity. . Free help sheets, services, newsletters, books and 
training to help community groups improve their fundraising abilities. 

15. Free Management Library - Nonprofit Fundraising and Grantwriting (USA) - http:// . Resources to ensure a strong 
fundraising plan and program for non-profit organisations. 

1 6. 0/online-is-the- 
way-forward-for-fundraising/ . 

Community Resource Kit Section 9: Raising funds 1 1 

Other resources 

1 . North Shore Community and Social Services' Community Resources: 

• Demonstrating Your Success to Win Funding 

A guide that focuses on being able to show funders that you are effective and 
therefore worth funding. It offers tools and thoughts about relationships with your 
funders, how to demonstrate that your service is effective, how to show that you 
deliver value for money and how you can use this evidence as a marketing tool to 
build a stronger case for funding. 

• A Guide to: Developing a Fund raising Strategy 

Looks at basic principles of fundraising and developing a fundraising strategy. 
Covers grants, sponsorship, special events, donor development and organisational 
activities to support fundraising. 

• Preparing Funding Applications 

A step-by-step guide to preparing funding applications using a team approach. 
It includes: getting started, planning and costing your project, gathering the 
information, FAQs, understanding funders' requirements. 

• Auckland Regional Funding Directory 

For more information, visit: . 

2. Managing Your Voluntary Agency in New Zealand: A Handbook - See Chapter Six: 
Managing Finances and Raising Funds. New Zealand Federation of Voluntary Welfare 

3. The Seriously Good Guide to Fundraising. Practical ideas and advice for community 
groups wanting to raise funds. Visit: http://www. exult. . 

4. The Grantseekers Guide - Trust Waikato. An easy-to-use reference booklet for people 
seeking funding. Visit: . 

5. Fundraising For Social Change, Kim Klein. A how-to guide to establishing, maintaining 
and expanding a successful community-based fundraising programme. 

6. Seizing the Moment II: Turning Community Ideas into Action. http://www.nzfvwo. 
fundraising/ . 

7. Fundraising Basics, Ciconte & Jacob. 

Community Resource Kit Section 9: Raising funds 12